The White House is extending the pause on federal student loan payments through the end of June 2023 in an effort to “alleviate uncertainty” for borrowers as the Biden administration battles at the Supreme Court to put President Joe Biden’s student loan handout into effect.
Biden announced in August that he will hand out $10,000 of federal student loan debt relief for certain borrowers making less than $125,000 per year and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
The president on Tuesday said he is “confident” that his “student debt relief plan is legal.”
“But it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it,” Biden tweeted, announcing that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is “extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term.”
The new announcement comes after Biden in August vowed to end the COVID-era student loan payment pause on Dec. 31, 2022.
“The student loan payments pause is going to end,” the president said on Aug. 25 after announcing his executive order canceling student loan debt for some Americans. “It’s time for payments to resume.”
The announcement comes after the Biden administration last week filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, asking to preserve its order to cancel student loan debt. The Justice Department asked the high court to block previous rulings out of Texas and Missouri that ruled the program unconstitutional.
“Callous efforts to block student loan debt relief in the courts have caused tremendous financial uncertainty for millions of borrowers who cannot set their family budgets or even plan for the holidays without a clear picture of their student debt obligations, and it’s just plain wrong,” Cardona said in a statement, adding that he wants borrowers to know that the administration “has their backs.”
“We’re committed as ever to fighting to deliver essential student debt relief to tens of millions of Americans,” he said, adding that the extension was put in place because “it would be deeply unfair to ask borrowers to pay a debt that they wouldn’t have to pay, were it not for the baseless lawsuits brought by Republican officials and special interests.”
The Department of Education said Tuesday that student loan payments “will resume 60 days after the Department is permitted to implement the program or the litigation is resolved.”
“If the program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 — payments will resume 60 days after that,” the department said.